Mr Effiom Effiom, the Country Director of Marie Stopes International Organisation Nigeria (MSION), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), says the organisation reached seven million women with family planning services in 10 years in Nigeria.
He made this known in Abuja at a gala night on Thursday to mark the organisation’s 10th anniversary in the country.
With headquarters in London, MSION is part of the Marie Stopes International Global Partnership, a social enterprise which operates in more than 37 countries across the globe, providing contraception and safe abortion services.
Its mission is to ensure that families and women have children by choice, not by chance.
Effiom said “MSION has grown in leaps and bounds, with more than 29 million family planning services delivered to 7,239,147 persons in Nigeria as a result of the organisation’s health system strengthening efforts in the public and private health sectors.”
He added that the organisation, operating in 36 states of the Federation and the FCT, trained more than 6000 public healthcare providers and 750 private healthcare providers in Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) information and commodities.
He added that the organisation operates a toll-free hotline contact centre to provide SRH information, counselling and referrals as part of its continuum care.
“The contact numbers are 0800-00-22252 (toll-free ), 22252 (charges apply) and WhatsApp/SMS 0908-00-22252,” he said.
The country director said that the anniversary was intended to mark critical milestones in providing SRH, including family planning and child spacing to Nigeria’s high unmet need.
He noted that “we will use the anniversary to promote our unique services, products and brand.
“Our mission is to ensure that families and women have children by choice, not chance.
“Our vision is to create a world in which every birth is wanted. We believe in a world where every mother can enjoy a wanted and healthy pregnancy and childbirth; every child can survive beyond their fifth birthday.
“Family planning is not all about population control, but the ability to make women to make better choices about their contraceptive right.”
Effiom, therefore, called on the media and well-informed Nigerians to help in educating women that children should be choice, not chance.
“Our population is growing, women will want family planning services, if we are able to meet every woman that needs contraceptive commodities, we will be able to manage our growth, ” he said.
Effiom called on government and international partners to invest more in the area of family planning services, noting that sex education was a right that must be afforded to every girl child.
He explained that the role of mothers was very important as they are the first point of contact with children
According to him, if parents do not play their part properly, the different media will give them the information.
Ms Sue Holland, Marie Stores International Country Director, who said that family planning was the smallest programme in Nigeria, added that the organisation had done a lot in the country in the area of family planning services.
She said more effort was needed for the programme to reach more women in the next 10 years.
According to her, MSION is an active participant in the SRH sector in Nigeria, a key trusted implementing partner of the Federal and States Ministries of Health.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that awards were given to people who played important roles during the period of review.